Cell phone gun

This is not the first time I’ve seen something like this, but I suspect folks who don’t work in a security field (my previous life’s work, kinda) might not have. You can check out a video and more details on cellular.co.za.

At first sight it looks like a regular cell phone — same size, same shape, same overall appearance.

But beneath the digital face lies a .22-caliber pistol, a phone gun capable of firing four rounds in quick succession with a touch of the otherwise standard keypad.

(via boingboing)


[tags]Cell phone gun[/tags]

RIAA kills WKRP on DVD hopes

This is old news, but I just read this tonight.  Apparently, the high cost of licensing music for TV shows is making the release of WKRP on DVD unlikely.  I wonder why so many people feel the RIAA as an organization is just a big greed monster?

For many TV shows, costs to license the original music for DVD are prohibitively high, so rights owners replace the music with cheaper tunes, much to the irritation of avid fans. And some shows, like WKRP, which is full of music, will probably never make it to DVD because of high licensing costs.

[tags]WKRP, RIAA, greed, DVD[/tags]

Take your pants off

Here’s a very funny photochop contest at Worth1000. Here are the details.

Everyone forgets occasionally. You arrive at work, and as you climb out of your car, you notice a draft. My pants! I forgot again!! Well, celebrities do this all the time.

The rules of this game are thus:
You are to take any famous person or character and make them “forget” to wear pants or any other important article of clothing. (shirts, shoes, etc…pants preferred). The rest of their attire should be completely normal though. Absolutely no nudity or genitalia. Just underwear. As always, quality is a must. You’ll have 48 hours for this contest, so make your submissions count.

Pantsless cowboy
[tags]photochop, Pants off[/tags]

Cory Doctorow podcasts “Return to Pleasure Island”

I’ve mentioned a few times before how much I like Cory Doctorow’s stuff. Here’s Cory podcasting his short story “Return to Pleasure Island” for download under a Creative Commons license.

This is the story of the ogres who run the concession stands on Pleasure Island, where Pinnocchio’s friend Lampwick turned into a donkey. Like much of my stuff, this has a tie-in with Walt Disney World; the idea came to me on the Pinnocchio ride in the Magic Kingdom, in 1993.

[tags]Cory Doctorow, podcast[tags]

Australian copyright office as greedy as American big business

A nice little show of greed, as ripped from boingboing.

Australian schools may have to pay a copyright fee every time a student is told to look at the web, if a plan from the national collecting society is successful. The Copyright Agency pays Australian authors for the photocopying that takes place on schools by randomly sampling the schools annually, collecting $31 million in fees and dispersing them to authors.

Now they say that they deserve to collect for the use of the Web. Despite the fact that there’s an implied license to read Web pages that goes along with publishing them (who puts up a web-page without expecting it to be read?) and despite the fact that the vast majority of pages online weren’t created by Australians, and despite the fact that the vast majority of pages created by Australians weren’t created by professional authors, the agency proposes that it should be able to collect a tax on behalf of all those authors in the world in order to line the pockets of its few lucky members.

And the unfortunate but realistic response from a school representative.

“If it turned out we’d have to pay them, we’d turn the internet off in schools,” the council’s national copyright director Delia Browne said.

[tags]Australian copyright, greed[/tags]

Cat abuse is entertainment?

A cat piano designed in the 17th century makes “music” by poking trapped cats in the rear.  And why would one create such a device (aside from the desire to be cruel to cats, of course)?

In order to raise the spirits of an Italian prince burdened by the cares of his position, a musician created for him a cat piano. The musician selected cats whose natural voices were at different pitches and arranged them in cages side by side, so that when a key on the piano was depressed, a mechanism drove a sharp spike into the appropriate cat’s tail. The result was a melody of meows that became more vigorous as the cats became more desperate. Who could not help but laugh at such music? Thus was the prince raised from his melancholy.

For more on the inventor, Athanasius Kircher, check out this article.  (via boingboing)

[tags]Cat piano,  Athanasius Kircher, cat abuse[/tags]

What are the lessons of MMORPGs today?

Lessons learned from MMORPGs.

  • You never, ever, ever change jobs. If you want to, you probably need to die.
  • You can be the best in the world at your job.
  • But so can everyone else.
  • And you will all do it exactly the same way.
  • Many, if not all, wild creatures are highly aggressive and will attack on sight.
  • Evil is not redeemable; good is not a choice. Your morals are innate.
  • Killing is the only real way to gain people’s admiration.
  • Well, you can make stuff too, but you won’t earn the same kind of admiration.

There are tons more. Read the whole list. (via BoingBoing)

[tags]MMORPG, lessons learned[/tags]